SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Santa Clara University is one of the top 50 “Cool Schools” for 2013. The Sierra magazine honor ranks universities that lead sustainability initiatives and make an effort to protect and preserve the environment. SCU came in 36 for a number of factors including the amount of faculty and departments engaged in sustainability-related research, peer to peer educator programs, renewable energy and alternative transportation. SCU set an ambitious goal to be climate neutral by the end of 2015.
“Our success is due to the growing culture of sustainability among our students, faculty, and staff. Our community is realizing that we can only reach sustainability if every member of campus contributes--from composting paper towels to making green purchasing decisions. Sustainability is becoming a part of daily life on our campus,” says Director of Sustainability Lindsey Cromwell Kalkbrenner.
One of the projects highlighted by Sierra is Santa Clara University’s 2013 Solar Decathlon team. Dozens of students are building a solar-powered home that creates more energy than it uses. Radiant House will compete against 20 other houses based on affordability, design and energy-efficiency in the first Solar Decathlon to be held in California this October. (See the video: http://bit.ly/16Sxhkz)
“We are so excited that Sierra magazine is recognizing our hard work,” says team leader Jake Gallau, ‘13. “Radiant House really is our contribution toward a sustainable future. We’re putting concepts to work that could revolutionize the way we think about construction and a greener world.”
Santa Clara’s unique approach to sustainability is rooted in its mission as a Jesuit University. The University places a priority on integrating social justice and sustainability to “illustrate the connections among a healthy environment, just societies, and a vibrant economy that meet all people’s fundamental needs, especially those of the global poor.” More than 500 classes have a sustainability tie or focus and nearly 100 faculty conduct sustainability-related research.
Marika Krause| SCU Media Relations | firstname.lastname@example.org | 408-829-4836
Figures Compare 2008 to 2012 to reflect the transformation a graduate in 2012 would have seen since starting at SCU in 2008.
- 17% reduction in electricity consumption per campus user.
- 15% reduction in electricity consumption per square foot of campus building space.
- 11% reduction in total electricity consumption, in spite of campus and population growth. “Even though we are growing in size and population, we’re using less energy,” says Cromwell Kalkbrenner.
- 564: Number of courses (2012-13) offered that are focused on or related to sustainability... in almost every academic department.
- 90 faculty are conducting research related to sustainability. Here is a list of faculty names and departments: http://www.scu.edu/sustainability/education/facultyresearch.cfm.
- SCU composts and recycles more trash than is sent to landfills. The waste diversion rate is 57%.
- SCU composts food waste and biodegradable items like pizza boxes and paper towels and recycles plastic, glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard, and electronic waste.